Monday, October 28, 2013

2013 - Week 43 Recap

Week 43?!  Wow...this year has whipped past...seems like yesterday I was doing my Week 1 recap and not really sure what 2013 would bring.  It's definitely been a growth and learning year for both Hubs and continue on that front, next week I start my Olympic weightlifting class at PISE!  Egads, what have I gotten myself into?!  Sounded like a good idea at the time when I signed up.  I just hope and pray that I'm not in a class with a bunch of buff young bucks and then me...little five foot middle aged pipsqueak.  I'm excited and terrified at the same time, but I'm going to bite the bullet and just do it.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?


Sunday:  circuit
Gadzooks, my shoulder was absolutely killing me so I did a circuit and scaled the upper body stuff so I wasn't lifting quite as heavy.  Sigh...just as my lower body is getting back on track, my upper body is starting to squawk.

Monday:  bootcamp

Tuesday:  rest
Visit to see the physio...thank goodness!

Wednesday:  rest
Bah...had to skip bootcamp as I had had needles the night before...most of them were in my upper body so I considered going and just doing lower body stuff but then I thought better of it. With my luck, I'd end up pushing it too hard and straining my glute or hammy again.

Thursday:  rest

Friday:  bootcamp
Lots of stairs and plyo with this class and I could feel hammy wasn't super loving it, so I modified again.  Sometimes I wonder if I baby it too much, but then again it's taken months to recover so whatevs...gotta do what feels right.

Saturday:  8K run
Wahooo!  I'm getting closer and closer to 10K and I'm SO excited.  I felt a couple of twinges here and there but overall it was a great run. 

A couple of little miscues here and there...Halloween treats have hit the office and I snarfled back a couple of boxes of Smarties lickety split.  I've also failed miserably at the Great Dairy Experiment of 2013...I've been craving yoghourt for weeks.  Like as in every time I go to the grocery store, I look longingly at all the colourful yoghourt containers in the dairy aisle...not sure what mineral or whatever I'm missing, but I've been jonesing for it for ages.  I finally gave in and bought a container of Greek yoghourt and pounded some back last night.  Oy vey stomach today looks like I'm five months pregnant and is as taut as a drum.  It hurts to press down on it and it's so bad my lulus are cutting into my stomach!  Ugh...I should just know better. 

Smoky butternut squash pasta and a delicious Slow Cooker Apple Butter from Oh She Glows...also improvised a roasted cherry tomato and garlic pasta with chickpeas, basil and olives (which was delicious, if I do say myself...heh).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This Post Brought to You by the Letter P

Physio, progress, pecs, I sat in the physio's office yesterday and let my mind wander as she stuck me full of needles, I realized yesterday was full of P words.  Back for my monthly check in with my old physio girl...honestly, I know I say it overandoverandover again about how great she is, but I'm going to say it again...she's SO fabulous and I'm so happy that I found her.  I actually had a panicky thought last night about what would I ever do if she moved away or something.  Must not think of such horrible thoughts, lest I crawl into the fetal position and hide under my desk.

In my last post I was saying how much better I'd been feeling and she was thrilled with how I was doing on the lower half of my body.  I was standing better and more evenly on both legs...the first time I came to see her, I was actually almost standing solely on one leg I was so far shifted over to the left.  She liked how my hip, hammy and glute were doing so that means the stretching, rollering and exercises I've been doing are key and working.  My upper body, however, was a whole different story.  I was still feeling sore from Friday's workout and woke up Tuesday morning with a stiff neck, so had her check me out and sure scapula and back were locked up and my whole torso was restricted in movement.  I had done a lot of chest movements on Friday and because my back wasn't helping stabilize me, my poor little wee pecs were doing all the work and...well, let's just say they were a wee bit pissed off.  It's all very interesting because I had noticed recently that pushups were inordinately hard for me...I thought I was just losing fitness, but because I couldn't activate my back muscles, I was relying solely on my chest to do all the work.  Not good.

My super fabulous physio girl worked on me diligently as I peppered her with questions.  What was causing all the issues, what can I do to stop this from happening, how can I get better?  Stretching, different exercises?!  It all came down to my posture.  Yep, I admit it...I'm a serial sloucher and have been for the better part of  my life.  The one awesome thing about working with weights is that I've made huge progress in my back muscles and my posture has improved physio said that my shoulder and back position now is good, but I've got what is know as "forward head posture".

Caused by years of slouching and sitting at the computer for work, my head position was far in front of my shoulders, much like the second picture and causing all sort of issues.  My ears are supposed to be in line with my shoulders, but they were at least few inches forward...then I throw in a restricted back/torso, hypermobility and a bajillion pushups and it's a recipe for a big old hot mess.

If you're interested in seeing if you've got forward head posture, check out this link.  Basically, your shoulder blades and the back of your head should touch the wall when you're standing.  When my physio put me in the proper position, it felt so weird!  But when I checked out what I looked like in the mirror, it did look way better than the Hunchback of Notre Dame position I had before.  She gave me homework to work on my head position and watch how I'm seated at work (I tend to schlump to the right when I sit) and check back in a month, but not before she did a round of beloved needles all over my neck, traps and pecs.  Not gonna lie, didn't love it but I've come to embrace the pain as a sign that I'm getting better.  Or at least that's what I tell myself when I'm writhing in pain.  Heh.

So there we go.  I am feeling way, way better and now that I know what's up and what I can do, I'm all over it as I want 2014 to be the Year of Being Pain Free.

Monday, October 21, 2013

2103 - Week 41/42 Recap

OK, back on track with the weekly posts!  I'm feeling optimistic and (knock on wood) physically I've been feeling better than I have in ages.  Back in the summer, I was achy, sore and seemed to be facing injury after injury, niggle after niggle...every morning I would wake up feeling a million years old.  The past while all the little issues I've been dealing with seemed to have gotten better and I'm feeling really, really good...I've been a very diligent girl and have been stretching and rollering nightly, and have eased back into exercise so I don't overdo things.  I'm finally feeling stronger and I think I'm almost ready to attack a Jason bootcamp.  Girding loins as we speak, folks...Jason is force to be reckoned with!


Two weeks worth!

Week 41:

Sunday - 6.5K run

Monday - bootcamp

Tuesday - rest

Wednesday - 30 mins treadmill

 Thursday - rest

Friday - bootcamp

Saturday - strength

Week 42:

Sunday - Volunteering at Goodlife Victoria Marathon
I didn't work out but I stood for over eight hours and spent two hours taking down the finish line...I think that counts, no?  Heh.

Monday - run 7K

Tuesday - rest

Wednesday - 30 mins treadmill

Thursday - rest

Friday - circuit/strength
We were in Vancouver for a quick overnight trip...Hubs was volunteering at We Day at Rogers Arena, so I decided to tag along and "practice retirement", as Hubs and I like to say.  It was awesome...he had to head off very early in the morning, so I got up and had a lovely, long, leisurely workout at the hotel gym, which was fantastic.  They had a full bench press set up, barbells and all ranges of dumbbells so I was in heaven...I ended up working out for over an hour and a half!  Seriously, am so in love with strength work.

Saturday - 7.5K run
Yahooo!  Am getting close to our usual weekend run distance, 10K.  So far, so good.


Bang on!  Oversnacking has been reigned in.  One thing that I have added that I've been finding has been making a huge difference in how I feel is a probiotic capsule every day.  I've cut out dairy so unfortunately can't do yoghourt, but ever since I've been taking a probiotic, my stomach has been feeling amazing


Butternut squash soup from Vegetarian times and Mapo Tofu from Wandering Chopsticks.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

2013 Goodlife Victoria Marathon - Race Recap, Volunteer Edition

Best weekend ever.  I always thought that the race organizers for the Goodlife Victoria were brilliant to schedule the race on the Thanksgiving long weekend, but this weekend Thanksgiving Day took on a whole new meaning for me.

Race weekend events kicked off for us with a fundraiser on Friday night for a running group called Every Step Counts, a walking and running program designed for people experiencing challenges or barriers with housing, mental health, poverty, addiction and other related issues.  I'd heard about this group a few years ago and thought wow...I know what running has done for me and how it's made a significant impact on my life, so I wanted to throw my full support behind this group.  This was our first time attending this fundraiser and it was a great evening.  Keynote speaker...

OK, you probably can't see clearly who it is, but it's Dick Beardsley...yep, that Dick Beardsley of the 1982 Boston Marathon Duel in the Sun fame.  He was an amazing speaker...after his famous run against Alberto Salazar, he had a series of unfortunate accidents and ended up becoming addicted to prescription drugs.  Clean for years, his story was inspiring to everyone, but particularly for those in the group struggling with addictions. 

There was a live and silent auction at the event as well...what, I get to eat and shop?!  My kind of fundraiser!  I ended up bidding on a Global knife and sharpener and some gift certificates to a restaurant.  What can I say, I'm a foodie.

Saturday morning I headed down to the race expo to listen to some of the speakers and then trotted down to the finish line to start my first volunteer shift of the weekend.  OK...just gonna say that I am super happy that I've been working with weights because it was four hours of setting up fencing and signage.  I made the mistake of doing some upper body strength work that morning, so needless to say, by the end of my shift I was one tired, sore and hungry girl.

my handiwork...

signs, signs and more signs...

slowly but surely, it's coming along...

I deserve every single calorie on this plate!!!

Sunday...the day I've been waiting for all year!  I've been so excited for this, and was so stoked when I headed down to the finish line that morning.  As soon as I got to the medal area, I was put to work checking and sorting the medals. It was a beautiful, beautiful day and there were tons of spectators lining the finishers chute.

lookit them all!

After we sorted them, we had to hang them on the racks so we could load them onto the arms of the people who were handing them out...we were like a well oiled machine!  As we worked, I got to know some of the other volunteers and made some quick friends. 

medal me, baby!

After we finished hanging the medals up, I managed to squeeze into the line up to hand out medals...this was the moment that I'd waited for all year!  Each finish line has its own meaning for every runner...all the sacrifice and everyone has their own story.  I'm sure no one will remember who it was who gave them their medal, but I was truly honoured to be able to be a teeny tiny part of their marathon experience. 

aren't these gorgeous?!

The winner of the marathon, Lamech Mokono, enjoying some well deserved drink and food after a course setting record of 2:13:42.

I'm a bit of a runner groupie, so I stealthily snapped this picture of the half marathon winner, Hilary Stellingwerff.  If her name sounds familiar, it should...she competed in the 1500m distance in the 2012 London Olympics and just barely missed qualifying for the final heat.  I was a little awestruck. 

i'm not worthy, i'm not worthy

It was a long day out there, but I didn't feel tired in the slightest...I stood for almost six hours straight handing out medals, and I could not wipe the smile off my face even if I tried.  I loved every millisecond of the day...I had so many big smiles, so many thank yous for volunteering, and I even got a few extremely sweaty hugs!  One fellow asked for a hug after I gave him his medal and warned that he was sweaty...I exclaimed "bring it on!!" and he enveloped me in a huge bear hug!  It was pretty funny, and got a good laugh from the crowd around us.  Another memorable moment for me came when I was giving a woman her medal and she started to cry and we spontaneously hugged...I could feel how proud and emotional she I said, each marathon is a journey and I was so happy that I could be a small part of hers.

And so concludes the Year of Volunteering.  All in all...this weekend was truly amazing.  As I said, it was so fitting that it was Thanksgiving.  I found myself getting verklempt throughout the day...last year at the race I was having one of the worst days of my life, and this year I was having one of the best.  I had never considered volunteering before, and was so thankful that out of an unfortunate situation came something that I've enjoyed so much....I'm a true believer of all things for a reason and I think I'm hooked on volunteering for races now!  The other thing that became so apparent to me is how the race is such a community event...I love how running can bring so many people together from all walks of life. 

finish line, i'll see you again next year!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

2013 - Week 40 Recap

Carpe diem.  Today, the world is my oyster...Hubs was busy all day yesterday so I took the opportunity to get all the stuff I usually do on Sunday (weekly cooking, gobs of chores) done on Saturday, so today I'm gonna catch a little of what I like to call "Cindy Time".   What to do, what to do...hee hee.  We started off the day with a relaxed, leisurely's a gorgeous, gorgeous warm Fall day here in Victoria...such a contrast to last week where we had our first storm of the season, with gale force winds and monsoon rains.

view from my deck as I sit here and blog...what an amazing day!

yep, still in my shorts and flip flops! 

I sure as heck hope this amazing weather holds up next weekend...Goodlife Victoria Marathon is on, and the forecast isn't looking all that great, boo urns.   I'm a volunteer machine for this race...I think I mentioned before that I got the thumbs up to hand out the medals at the marathon (I cannot wait!!) but I also volunteered to help out at the volunteer night, help set up the finish line the day before the race, and will be working the full race day.  I'm so's a huge event for Victoria and it's going to be pretty cool to be a tiny little part of it.  Will make sure I capture as much of the day(s) as I can so I can regale you with all of my volunteer hijinx.  Heh.


Sunday:  strength/bike intervals
Oy vey, the intervals were hard.  I mean, they're always hard but it took everything in me to keep going.  The only word I can think to describe the workout was meh.

Monday:  treadmill
My bootcamp buddy D was sick so I decided to stay home and work it was gale force winds and pouring rain too. 

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: sick (booo!!) I know why I was feeling like such crap on Sunday.  I was feeling bone achingly tired on Monday and really off on Tuesday, and had this weird scratchy throat for days...woke up Wednesday morning with an awful, awful headache and feeling achy all over...every time I stood up the area behind my eyes would just throb.  No workout.

Thursday: rest

Friday: circuit
I was browsing around online to find some different class options now that our bootcamp is being cancelled for the winter, and came across this workout that looked really good so I decided to give it a go...

Kettlebell swing - 20
Pushups - 20
Goblet squat - 15
Push press - 20
Situps - 20
Burpees - 20
Walking lunges - 20 per leg
Bent over row - 10
Thrusters - 20
Side plank dips - 15 per side

Goal is to do as many rounds of this as possible in 45 minutes.  Confession time...I only did two rounds because I was starving.  It took me about 10 minutes per round and I was sweating bullets because it's pretty intense, but I looooooved it.  Will try and see if I can work may way up to 4 rounds in 45 minutes.

Saturday: strength

Pretty good overall but I think I've been feeling carb-y lately and have been indulging too much in healthy snacks.  Yes, whole grain crackers and hummus is healthy, but stuffing myself on them isn't the greatest.  Also had a realization about how much sugar really affects me since we've cut back a lot on the sweets we eat.  On Friday I threw all caution to the wind and had a soy pumpkin spice latte (with whip, people...egads!).  I rarely ever order coffee drinks like this because I don't like drinking my calories, but I always have one per year because a friend and I used to go for these all the time, and when she moved away it became a ritual to email each other when we had our first one of the season.  It was delicious, but later on that day my stomach puffed up like a balloon...I hadn't experienced this in ages since we started to eat clean...I would regularly get bloated and puffy because we were indulging ourselves in either salty or sugary foods.  I decided to look up the nutritional information and I was honestly shocked...

Based on a grande size soy pumpkin spice latte with whip:

Calories - 350
Fat - 12 grams (5 grams saturated)
Cholesterol - 25 milligrams
Sodium - 230 grams
Protein - 13 grams
Sugar - 41 grams

Forty one grams of sugar!?!  WTF?!  There's four grams of sugar in one teaspoon, so in that one drink I had over TEN TEASPOONS OF SUGAR.  No wonder I puffed up like a balloon...good thing I only have one of those per year. 

Sesame scented turkey meatballs with smashed chickpea salad, cauliflower pesto with linguine and a black bean ragout, all from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.  The black bean ragout didn't turn out...for some reason there was a lot of water for the amount of beans, so by the time it would have taken to get rid of all the liquid, the beans would have been mush so I decided to turn it into soup, which is still delish.  Gotta roll with the punches!